A 102-year-old man from County Durham will be taking part in the Great North Run this year, as he is set to walk the full route.

Bill Cooksey from Newton Aycliffe hopes to become the oldest person to finish and will be accompanied by his friend Gavin Hasting along with Sue Jacques, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust.

The RAF veteran walks around two miles every day to “keep fit” and will be wearing a special 102 race number signed by the Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster, the BBC reports.

"Very often you get to the same age and say 'that's it, I'm not supposed to be able to do this' but I just carried on as normal and I shall continue to do so until I am forced to stop," the father-of-three told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"I don't think that record will stand for long - there will be people out there who are much fitter than I am, and they will decide, 'well if he can do it, I can do it' - and good luck to them.”

Mr Cooksey will be raising money for his local NHS Trust charity and said: “I hope it will encourage other people to try the same thing.”

He is no stranger when it comes to long-distance exercise as Mr Cooksey “set himself a challenge” of walking 100 miles to commemorate his 100th birthday.

The Great North Run competitor walked 10 miles a day across 10 days, through the Locomotion Way between Newton Aycliffe and Shildon stations.

Meanwhile, to celebrate his 101st birthday, Mr Cooksey accumulated 1,000 miles riding his tricycle.

@tyneandwearmetro Can you believe it’s just 4 weeks until The Great North Run?! 🏃‍♀️🏃🏃‍♂️ 🏅 See you at the start line! #GreatNorthRun #OneMoTime ♬ original sound - Tyne & Wear Metro

Mr Cooksey explained: "When I am doing an ordinary walk I don't make any attempt of hurrying, I just saunter along.

"You go out to walk for solitude and to think about things."

He continued to say: “The only thing I regret is having to give up dancing, I think that's another secret to good health.”

When is the Great North Run 2023?

This year, the Great North Run will take place on September 10, with the route beginning from Newcastle, travelling through Gateshead and finishing in South Shields.